New Roles for Old Standbys

People are always coming up with new ways to prepare foods based on what they can buy local first. More and more foods are being replaced with better alternatives. For example, using cauliflower as a pizza crust, or pureeing some fruit or vegetable just to find it moments later as some odd addition to a dish. With the instability of the economy, basic food standbys were once again being used on a regular basis. Not only that, but they are being modified to take over for main ingredients. An example of this is to add meat, not only to stretch it out but also to add another nutritional foundation.

Any Flavor can be Reworked

During a conversation I had recently with an acquaintance at the grocery store where I shop local, I learned that a certain celebrity chefs have been known to add sweet potatoes to meatloaf as a filler. Makes since to me, we always use saltine crackers and eggs in meat loaf but if we were out of crackers we used instant mashed potatoes. Garlic is one of my favorite standbys, so when I saw this line of flavored crushed garlic I was like a little kid in a candy shop. Be open minded about substituting one ingredient for another. The things that most people have in their pantry can be exchanged with something else.

  • Make it new by substituting
  • New twists on old flavors
  • Anything works in a pinch

Almost Anything can be Used in a Pinch

A great treat my grandmother would make was shake-n-bake. One time when getting ready to make some shake-n-bake pork chops, she discovered she was out of the shake-n-bake, so like it was nothing at all she took her rice crispies out and pounded them into a powder. I like the substitution so much that I never bought the prepackaged stuff as an adult. There are other times when it becomes necessary to use a substitution you would never had if not for desperation. On example is the use of cinnamon. Cinnamon is a very strong spice, so it doesn’t take much but I was out of turmeric and cumin so out of need I used cinnamon. It wasn’t exactly the same but it was palatable and I would do it again if needed.

photo credit: preparing cauliflower crust pizza dough via photopin (license)